|Deeling Gregory: Buffalo Visages 1*|
The hunger for the presence of the buffalo that these images communicate is all too often nostalgic. The buffalo are welcomed as long as they remain safely in the past, a memory of other times, of a world that was destined to be superseded even if once remarkable in its own manner. In this way, the iconifying of the Buffalo becomes nothing more than a re-inscription of what Australian anthropologist Deborah Bird Rose has termed "the Year Zero," a reordering of time by settlement peoples such that what has taken place before the arrival of European culture (and particularly in this case, European agriculture) is relegated to a legendary past that ceases to impinge too strongly on the moment in which one is currently living. To remember the buffalo is fine, as long as they are not too near or too meaningful.
|Deeling Gregory's Gigantomachia*|
What comes across in Gregory's portrait is entirely absent in the railroad poster: Buffalo, Gregory would remind us, were not dumb animals to be eagerly chased down and heedlessly slaughtered but august fellow creatures whose capacity to inspire and instruct us humans is not to be underestimated, let alone dismissed. Particularly striking in this regard is how Gregory treats the individuality of each Buffalo in the herd she pictures. Each visage is alive with sentiment as it submitted to ecocide. Consider these images taken from the mural
|Deeling Gregory: Buffalo Visages 2*|
|Deeling Gregory: Buffalo Visages 3*|
|Feeling Gregory: Buffalo Visages 4*|
|Feeling Gregory: Buffalo Visages 5*|
|Deeling Gregory: Buffalo Visages 6|
|Deeling Gregory: Buffalo Visages 7*|
|Deeling Gregory: Buffalo Visages 8*|
* Images from the First Avenue North Underpass Mural are used with the permission of the Business Improvement District of Great Falls Montana.